Creating customer-centric digital buying experiences are no longer just for consumer-facing e-commerce platforms. B2B businesses are taking the wheel and changing their digital buying needs and expectations. While B2B still lags behind the digital customer experience of B2C, there are ways that B2B businesses can enhance their e-commerce capabilities and strategy to better serve their customer.
5 Tools to Enhance Your B2B Customer’s Digital Experience
1. Self-Service Tools
A survey conducted by McKinsey recently found that 86% of respondents prefer using self-service tools for reordering, rather than talking to a sales representative. Gone are the days of lengthy waiting periods for quotes, complicated paper order forms and status orders that go unknown or uncommunicated to the customer. Digital e-commerce platforms can greatly change this experience, offering buyers self-service tools like:
- Extensive resource libraries, FAQs, downloadable manuals, and additional product knowledge
- Live chat and/or call-back features
- Calculators and Live Quoting
- Community Forums
2. Website Search Bar
According to Forrester Research, 43% of website visitors head directly to the internal search bar after a website loads. With B2B product catalogs, especially those in the fastener industry being robust, search queries must provide relevant and accurate results.
B2B sites will find it helpful to support search queries that include:
- Characteristics or descriptors, like classifications, type of threading, or coatings
- Product traits, like material and color
- Issues/Pain points that the product can solve
- Exact key words, i.e., the specific name of the product, model, or SKU
Not only can this provide your target audience with efficient, straightforward navigation to product pages, but it can also be used to collect data. Businesses should be reviewing what is commonly and consistently searched for. Is it available on your e-commerce site? If not, this may be a product that you want to consider adding and incorporate into upselling or cross-selling opportunities.
Two challenges for businesses when implementing website personalization are:
- Data Collection Compliancy and Security – there are many policies and regulations protecting the use of user data and the way that it is accessed or used.
- Technology Resources – many B2B businesses don’t have the tech tools to introduce or scale personalization in the way they would like to.
4. Website Speed
While the aesthetic of your website is an important portion of your 1st impression with web visitors, equally as crucial is the speed in how quickly your website loads. This can make a difference in capturing and holding your customers attention and increasing conversions.
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and a 1 second delay in page response can cause a 7% reduction in conversions. Google also took note of website speed in 2018, incorporating this factor into the way it does mobile search rankings.
You can improve your B2B website page speed by doing things like compressing images, removing unnecessary code and using the right website host. Website speed acts as your brand and organizations digital reputation with customers. If the page loads too slow, site visitors may be thinking that your products and services will also follow this clunky and slow-moving appearance.
5. Customer Feedback
Collecting and reviewing customer feedback is vital in maintaining a positive customer experience and long-term loyalty with your business. This data gives business owners a first-hand look and the ability to put together an action plan to deliver what their target customer wants.
Feedback can be requested through product reviews, email surveys, text/SMS, and even video or photo recordings or testimonials. One example of collecting quality customer feedback is through Net Promoter Score (NPS). This metric measures the customer’s loyalty with one question:
“How likely is it that you would recommend [Organization/Product /Service] to a friend or colleague?”
Respondents then give a rating between 0, meaning not at all likely, and 10, extremely likely. NPS can track everything from products, webpages, customer service and more. And adding an NPS survey is said to boost customer retention by 7%.